Agreement Set to Maximise Leading Digital Commerce Specialist’s Growth
Global digital commerce specialist Astound Commerce announced today that it has reached an agreement with California–based RLH Equity Partners to make a major investment in its business, with additional participation from Salesforce’s corporate investment group, Salesforce Ventures. The RLH–Astound transaction became effective on Thursday 6 May, and comes after several months of in-depth conversations between the Astound and RLH leadership teams.
The renowned private equity firm was drawn to the remarkable work put in motion by Astound founders Igor Gorin, Ilya Vinogradsky, and Roman Martynenko, alongside Terry Hunter, CEO for UK, Middle East and Spain and Portugal, and Lars Feldscher, Managing Director, Astound Commerce DACH, as well as the overall strength of Astound’s management team and business globally.
Astound Commerce has a 20-year history of delivering exceptional digital commerce experiences for global brands such as PUMA, L’Oréal, Under Armour, Boohoo, Lovehoney, Halfords, and Crocs. Now, with this strategic new investment, Astound is poised to accelerate expansion of its capabilities and footprint into new commercial and technology markets, realising its mission to lead the digital commerce landscape and maximise the value of every digital commerce touchpoint.
RLH has a long history of helping promising businesses capitalise on their potential, offering seasoned guidance as their team focuses on strengthening existing infrastructure and supporting new initiatives. In the case of Astound Commerce, central to these initiatives is the company’s North Star plan, which launched in the beginning of 2020 with the aim of making Astound the global market leader in digital commerce.
The selection of Michael Kahn (MK) as Global CEO to lead the company was the first step in that plan, followed by the company’s search for a financial partner to help it grow. Other RLH investments include Salesforce cloud consultancy Bluewolf (since acquired by IBM), Salesforce B2B agency Shift 7 Digital, financial and technology consultancy CrossCountry Consulting, and pharmaceutical industry consulting firm Clearview Healthcare Partners.
"As we came to recognise RLH’s people-focused philosophy and its deep commitment to preserving the culture and operations of the businesses it supports, prioritising talent acquisition and retention, the choice was clear," said MK. "For the past three decades, RLH has invested in technology business services, healthcare, and government services, in particular seeking out superlative leadership teams with a clear plan for exponential growth," he continued.
"While the past year has been tumultuous for all, at Astound Commerce we have continued to push boundaries for our clients and strive for continued growth and evolution. This next step with RLH and Salesforce Ventures signifies not just a key step in our expansion, but also our desire to truly cement ourselves as a global leader in the space," said Terry Hunter, CEO of Astound Commerce UK, Middle East and Spain and Portugal.
For Astound’s clients, partners, and team, this development will allow the company to continue its high-caliber work as it grows and sustain its unwavering commitment to delivering maximum value every single day.
Piper Sandler & Co. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Astound Commerce on the transaction, and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to Astound Commerce. Vinson & Elkins LLP served as legal counsel to RLH Equity.
About Astound Commerce:
At Astound Commerce, we live and breathe customer experience. We design engagements that forge lifelong brand loyalty. We generate and capture consumer demand and push technology to the edge of what it can do. With 20 years’ experience, 1,300 ecommerce specialists, more than 3,000 projects completed, and dozens of industry accolades, we excel at maximising the brand and business value of every digital commerce touchpoint. Our strategic solutions work in service of visionary brands such as L’Oréal, Boohoo, Halfords, FLOR, TOMS, and Crocs.
Astound has earned Salesforce B2C Commerce Expert and Retail Industry Specialist status, reflecting the company’s ongoing commitment to excellence in the Salesforce ecosystem. To learn more, visit astoundcommerce.com.
RLH Equity Partners is a leading private equity firm that partners with entrepreneurs to help them build distinctive high-growth businesses and realise their aspirations. RLH provides experienced strategic guidance to its portfolio companies while embracing the entrepreneurial spirit of those companies’ founders. The RLH investment team, which averages over 15 years of private equity experience, has developed proven processes to enhance organic growth and drive enterprise value. With a 35+ year history of successful investing, RLH is uniquely able to help fast growing, profitable enterprises with revenue of $25-150 million in the business services, healthcare, and government services sectors achieve their goals. The firm currently manages approximately $1 billion of assets and is actively seeking new portfolio company investments.
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